History Of Love & Mercy Fellowship
Love & Mercy Fellowship was founded by Sister Celeste Horvath. In order to tell LMF’s history Celeste’s history must be told as well. (Please click here to read her testimony.) Raised in both the Catholic Church and the Pentecostal church, Celeste strayed from her Christian heritage in her teen years, and wound up in prison. Through her arrest and subsequent trial she came back to the Lord. Having received great favor in a reduced prison sentence, she began bible studies while serving her sentence. After coming out of prison, she opened a soup kitchen in Bay Shore. After a number of years, that soup kitchen was burned down, and Celeste went on the road as an evangelist. Through out that time she published a book on her testimony, began a weekly radio program called Vision For The Lost, and her evangelistic ministry called Sr. Celeste Ministries.
Love & Mercy Fellowship started as a bible study and support group for mothers of prisoners. Sister Celeste had never forgotten what the Lord had done in her life. Determined to make sure that parents had the support that hers never received, Love & Mercy Fellowship was born. Soon it grew into several meetings throughout the week in the Staten Island, Long Island, New York, and New Jersey areas. An evangelist at heart, Sister Celeste had a passion for the lost and was determined to reach them through any means afforded her, be it radio ministry, television ministry, prison ministry, street evangelism, soup kitchen, hospital and nursing home ministry.
After various moves, Love & Mercy Fellowship settled into the town of Bay Shore, where a friend of the ministry allowed her the free use of a storefront building. The month the key was given to use the store front, Sr. Celeste was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. Gradually all the traveling to various locations had begun to slow down 2 years prior, at the time of the founding of Operation Homeless, a street ministry that fed the homeless in NYC when the homeless population in Manhattan soared to numbers unimaginable. So, at the time of her diagnosis, it was if the Lord was settling the fellowship to grow into more of a local body.
Her protege was Deborah Mitchell, whom she had discipled and the church ordained her in April 1990. By December of 1995, Sr. Celeste had passed and Pastor Deborah became it’s next pastor, leading the Fellowship into it’s next chapter. That storefront on Main Street remained its home from June of 1992 through July of 1997. It moved one more time before it found its current home, 1420 Union Blvd. Bay Shore New York. Pastor Deborah has continued in many aspects of the original vision of its’ founder, continuing in radio ministry, soup kitchen, street evangelism, teaching and preaching the Word.